Downtown Dayton Radisson could become Hard Rock Hotel

Local official says hotel company has signed an agreement; state officials cite no movement toward casino, gambling

A downtown hotel near the Dayton Convention Center that recently closed will be renovated and turned into a Hard Rock Hotel, said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

The Radisson Hotel Dayton Convention Center abruptly shut its doors on Oct. 31, but owner LW Dayton LLC, an affiliate of Lockwood Development Partners LLC, says the closure is temporary and the 13-story building will undergo significant renovations.

Gudorf on Friday said that Lockwood has signed an agreement with Hard Rock Hotels that will transition the Radisson to a signature Hard Rock Hotel.

There are about 14 Hard Rock Hotels across the nation, but most also are casinos.



Hard Rock has four standalone hotels in New York City; Atlanta; San Diego, and Orlando, Florida.

Hard Rock has hotels and resorts in many other parts of the world, and there are about 34 Hard Rock Cafes across the nation.

Cincinnati’s casino is part of the Hard Rock brand, and Hard Rock International has proposed to build a hotel at the property.

Some local community members who reacted to the hotel announcement on social media speculated about whether the new hotel could have gambling.

Hard Rock International a couple of years ago launched Hard Rock Digital, which is an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform.

But there’s little chance the Dayton Radisson property could become a new casino.

That’s because Ohio has four casinos, and creating another one would require a change to the state constitution, said Jessica Franks, director of communications for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Lottery said the agency has not received an application for a new lottery retail operation from LW Dayton or Lockwood Development Partners.

Businesses need to be approved for retail lottery sales before they can apply for retail sports betting, which begins in Ohio in January.

Gudorf said this new destination hotel is very good news for the convention center and the downtown community.

The Radisson, before it closed, was one of only two hotels operating in downtown Dayton, though two new hotels are under construction near Day Air Ballpark, home to the Dayton Dragons, and along North Main Street, near the city’s largest performing arts venues.

Local leaders and tourism officials have repeatedly stressed the importance of having good-quality hotel product close to the Dayton Convention Center, which is currently undergoing more than $30 million worth of renovations.

The availability and quality of nearby accommodations are one thing event planners consider when searching for a place to hold their conferences, conventions or special events, officials said.

Hard Rock Hotels has said its branded properties offer contemporary designs that are “accentuated with a priceless music memorabilia collection that tells stories of musicians far and wide.”

The company has said some of its hotels provide “immersive music environments” and “musically infused aesthetics.”

Some properties are decorated with rock and roll memorabilia and offer rooms with rock-themed designs and in-room record players or turntables or plug-and-play sound system.

The Radisson property, perhaps not coincidentally, is located next to the Levitt Pavilion Dayton, which hosts free concerts during the warmer-weather months.

Downtown can use all of the high-quality hotel product it can get, and its existing hotel and the three others under development all look like they will be unique and could have their own niche, some leaders said.

“Developers would not be investing in these hotels if they didn’t have confidence in the market and their ability to attract guests and visitors,” Gudorf said. “But clearly there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us and them.”

About the Author